Kailash and Everest

Attention: by choosing this selection, you are paying to book a private room on top of what you have already purchased previously (i.e. paying to not share a bedroom with another tour guest).
Mt. Kailash is held to be the most religiously esteemed place on earth with only Mecca as competition. All Hindu and Buddhist religious followers consider Kailash a place of considerable spiritual power and religious heritage. It also promises the most amount of karmic merit of any other activity. Doing the Kora (circumambulating the mountain) around Kailash is said to earn serious karmic benefit, while completing the circuit 108 times supposes certain enlightenment. The experience is no solitary affair. Hundreds of pilgrims are on the circuit at any one time creating camaraderie in the suffering involved with pressing onward to dizzying elevations as high as 5,600 meters (18,500 ft.).

It takes a full week of travel (including a few days of acclimatization while visiting the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Lhasa) just to arrive at the mountain. Following the completion of the Kora, heading back East in the direction of Lhasa again, a slight rendezvous allows for time to marvel at the presence of Mt. Everest's imposing North Face from Rongbuk Monastery, the highest monastery in the World. The star-lit night sky and sun-lit mountain on the following morning are a perfect way to wrap up this Himalayan journey.

Extravagant Yak has made this tour possible for any eager traveler who desires to test their limits while knowing the small stuff is taken care of by an experienced tour operator. We’ve thought through all contingencies and logistics. We’ve connected the dots and opened the right doors for you to access this incredibly beautiful and mystical place.

Note: This tour is not recommended for travelers under 12 or over 70 years of age. Good physical fitness is necessary for high elevation trekking.

If viewing this video in China, a VPN is required:

14 Days

Dates: Yours to choose
*Pricing based on a group of 4

Key Destinations

Lhasa, Yamdrok Lake, Shigatse, Lake Manasarovar, Mt. Kailash, Peiku Lake, Rongbuk Monastery, Mt. Everest National Park


Private vehicle with driving distance 2750KM (Return)

Starts / Ends

Starts and end in Chengdu (incl. return airfare to Lhasa)

  • All transport, including airport pick-up and transfers
  • Tibet Travel Permit (TTP)
  • Private vehicle and driver, plus an excellent English speaking local guide
  • Chengdu to Lhasa return airfare (per the itinerary)
  • All meals
  • All accommodation based on double occupancy
  • All activities and entrance fees enroute (per the itinerary)
Not Included
  • International airfare
  • Medical, travel, and trip interruption insurance
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Activities not included on the trip itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Souvenirs, laundry, items of a personal nature

DAY 1 - Chengdu - Lhasa (Flight)

Accommodation: Cang Gyan Hotel, Lhasa

Your tour commences with pick up in the morning at your hotel for a shuttle to Chengdu Shuangliu airport. Today you are flying to the roof of the world (3700m). It is hard to find such a short flight anywhere else on the planet where the geography, climate, elevation, and culture change so dramatically. After some refreshments at your hotel, it is off to the heart of this ancient city for a walk through the lively Barkhor Bazaar that surrounds the venerated Jokhang Temple . It is an exotic experience to mix with nomads and religious pilgrims who have converged from all over Tibet.

DAY 2 - Lhasa

Accommodation: Cang Gyan Hotel, Lhasa

This morning will take you on a leisurely stroll through the UNESCO Sites of Norbulingka , meaning "Treasure Park." The central feature of this 89 acre park and gardens is Norbulingka Palace - the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas. After lunch, it is a short drive to the foothills north of town where Sera Monastery sits. This includes the fascinating experience of seeing monks engage in their daily practice of religious debate. A full day already, an afternoon rest will precede a later dinner.

DAY 3 - Lhasa

Accommodation: Cang Gyan Hotel, Lhasa

Following breakfast, this morning's cultural highlight is a tour of the 17th century Potala Palace, the former chief residence of the Dalai Lama. With walls as thick as 5 meters and containing over 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, and 200,000 statues, any length of time in this historic engineering wonder is considered an abbreviated tour. A well-deserved rest after lunch will be appreciated before a visit to Lhasa’s Yak Museum. A very full day will be rewarded with the option of a show after dinner. 

DAY 4 - Lhasa to Shigatse

Accommodation: Gesar Hotel, Shigatse

Today begins the overland trip by private vehicle to Mt. Everest National Park. The Friendship Highway will take you by the turquoise waters of mystical Yamdrok lake, akin to Canada's Lake Louise in Banff, but grander in scale. From there, you'll view Karola Glacier and then onto Gyantse - home of the largest stupa in Tibet - before reaching your destination for the day. Shigatse is home to Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, seat of the Panchen Lama, the highest ranking Tibetan Buddhist Lama in the People's Republic of China. Distance: 340km.

DAY 5 - Shigatse

Accommodation: Gesar Hotel, Shigatse

Enjoy a day in the second largest city in Tibet, Shigatse. At 3,900 meters, Shigatse will provide another day of needful acclimatization for the upcoming Kailash trek. Visit Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in the morning and stretch your legs by joining local pilgrims for a kora (a circuit) around the monastery. This particular monastery was commissioned by the First Dalai Lama back in the 15th century. In the afternoon enjoy a visit to the Shigatse Dzong (Fortress) on the hill in the center of town. The Dzong came to prominence in the 17th century when the 5th Dalai Lama was installed as ruler over Tibet and ruled from Kangding in Eastern Tibet all the way to the Ladakh border. The original structure was destroyed in the 1950s but rebuilt in 2007.

DAY 6 - Shigatse to Saga

Accommodation: 2 star equivalent hotel or Tibetan guesthouse.

Get on the road early in the morning for an all-day scenic feast on wheels. The convergence of arid mountain and hilltops with lush grasslands makes for a day of constant contrast and surprise. Defying the harsh barrenness of the Tibetan plateau, grasslands appear around emerald lakes and stretch along the Raka Tsangpo river valley that supports communities of shepherds that tend to their flocks of sheep. A meal and a stretch in Lhatse is included en route, before continuing your journey until reaching Saga at nightfall. Distance: 450 km.

DAY 7 - Saga to Darchen

Accommodation: 1 star equivalent hotel or Tibetan guesthouse.

Today's long-distance drive will take you to within a stone's throw from the borders of India and Nepal. This portion of the route follows the Tamachok Tsangpo River that stretches across Tibet from west to east, beginning at her source at Mt. Kailash, becoming the Yarlung Tsampo after Saga, and ending on the other side of the Himalaya in India where the river is revered as the great Brahmaputra. Along the way, the rolling foothills of the Himalaya converge with what feels like a strikingly contradictory geographical feature: sand dunes. Civilization is now a distant memory as the highlands of Tibet lure you further west. As you approach Darchen, catch the sunset over remote Lake Manasarovar on your left with golden hues illuminating Kailash on the right. Distance: 490 km.

DAY 8 - Kailash Kora (Day 1)

Accommodation: semi-permanent campsite at the north face.

You may want to get up before the sun just so you can catch the moonlight on Kailash. After a hearty breakfast, throw your essentials onto your back and follow the main road out of town to the trailhead. Today is a fairly easy stroll and will afford the best views of Kailash for the rest of the trek. Be sure to capture as many photos as you can. The last bit of the hike today will be through a blistery wind tunnel valley on the north side of Kailash before you take shelter. The camp is set up just before the trail begins to ascend. Distance: 18 km.

DAY 9 - Kailash Kora (Day 2)

Accommodation: 1 star equivalent Tibetan guesthouse.

Some pilgrims do the remainder of the Kora on this day (33 km) and hit the trail well before the sun comes up. We will take the more conservative three days to complete the Kora, which means we can enjoy a breakfast in the tent restaurant and hit the trail between 8 and 9am. The ascent begins quickly and continues gradually for the next seven or eight kilometers before rising quickly to cross the 5,600 meter pass. On the other side of the pass, you lose elevation quickly. Be sure to watch your feet, but also take time to enjoy the views. You will pass by an alpine lake before the narrow valley opens up into the much larger valley that cuts southwest back toward Darchen. Follow that valley southwest for another 5 to 6 kilometers before reaching our accommodation. Distance: 22 km.


DAY 10 - Kailash Kora (Day 3)

Accommodation: 1 star equivalent hotel or Tibetan guesthouse.

Most of the elevation has already been gained and lost, so it is a relatively flat walk back to Darchen. You will have more strength (and breath) to engage other travelers you find on the trail. You will have lost sight of Kailash mid-morning of Day 2, but you are still surrounded by beautiful surroundings. Arrive back in Darchen for a late lunch and a shower at a local bath house. Distance: 11 km.

DAY 11 - Darchen to Saga

Accommodation: 2 star equivalent hotel or Tibetan guesthouse.

Retracing your steps to Saga today is necessary in more ways than one. A full day in the car to recover from the physical toll of the previous days on the Kora will allow time for your body to rest and your mind to dwell on the memories of your incredible accomplishment. A trip already full to the brim with adventure and significance is about to become richer as you anticipate tomorrow's visit to the jewel of the Himalaya range: Mt. Everest. Distance: 490 km.

DAY 12 - Saga to Everest

Accommodation: Chuszum Village Guesthouse

Today's destination is just down the valley from Mt. Everest's North Face. Passing the beautiful turquoise waters of Peiku Lake, you will begin climbing the last pass of the trip for expansive views of the Himalaya on the way to Chuszum Village, arriving just before sundown. It is well worth it to stay awake for a display of stars only imaginable from these heights of the earth. The very basic lodging is eclipsed by both the warmth of local hospitality and the anticipation of beholding the next day's sunrise on the world's largest mountain. Distance: 370km

DAY 13 - Everest to Shigatse

Accommodation: Gesar Hotel, Shigatse

Today begins with a park bus ride up to Rongbuk Monastery where you'll enjoy the matchless experience of being awestruck beneath Everest's north face bathing in the morning sunlight. Unadulterated grandeur being unveiled before the eyes causes one to feel there could never be an appropriate time to steal away for the return trip. After a hot breakfast and another lingering view of the mountain, it is time to set off for Shigatse for the nicest accommodation you've had in over a week and a hot shower. Another day to add to the family history books. Distance: 420km.

DAY 14 - Shigatse to Lhasa Gonggar Airport

A morning drive to Lhasa airport follows the Yarlung Tsampo River and offers beautiful views of idyllic Tibetan farming villages along the way. This afternoon you bid a reluctant farewell to your guide and depart from the roof of the world. Distance: 240km.